How to Disable Windows Remote Desktop

Windows Remote Desktop allows you (or others) to connect to your computer remotely over a network connection, effectively accessing everything on your computer as if you were directly connected to it.

This is useful if you need to access your computer from another location — for instance, if you need to connect to your computer at home when you are at work or vice-versa. This is also handy in a support situation in which you either want to help someone else by connecting to their computer, or you want to provide access to support personnel to connect to your computer.

Unfortunately, Remote Desktop can be exploited by hackers to gain control of remote systems and install malware or steal personal information. It’s a good idea to keep the feature turned off unless you actively need it — and it is not enabled by default. Once enabled, however, it’s easy to disable it.

Windows 7

  • Press the Start button and search for System

  • Choose System under Control panel

  • Select Remote settings from the left pane to open the System Properties dialog box

  • Select the Remote tab along the top

  • Untick Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer

  • Select Don’t Allow Connections To This Computer and then click OK

    NOTE:  This step is not available in Windows 7 Home edition

Windows 8

For Windows 8, the process is similar to that for Windows 7.

In Windows 8.1, however, the Remote Desktop section has been eliminated from the Remote tab. To regain this functionality, you must download the Remote Desktop app from the Windows Store and install it on your Windows 8.1 computer.

  • Press Windows + X and select System from the list

  • Click Advanced System Settings in the left sidebar

  • Select the Remote tab and check Don’t Allow Remote Connections to this Computer

Windows 10

Windows 10 ships with Remote Desktop, so you do not need to have explicitly installed it. Once installed and set up, disabling it is similar to Windows 8.1, but you can use the Type here to search box as well

  • Type remote settings into the Type here to search box and select Allow remote access to your computer. This seems counter-intuitive, but this opens the Control panel dialog for Remote System Properties.

  • Untick Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer

  • Select Don’t Allow Connections To This Computer (only Windows 10 Pro) and then click OK

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